FPE breaker that didn't trip

Had a call from a client that just moved in to their condo. He said the a/c wasn’t working and the lights were flickering or dim in parts of the home. He then told me he checked all the breakers and the breaker for the outside compressor unit but didn’t know what to do next. I asked him if he checked the outside main. He said “no, I will go look”

He called me back and said smoke was pouring out of the access when he opened it.

The power co came out to look and informed him the clips on the meter base had spread from heat and were arcing and the heat was cooking the wires to the main shut off. The guy bent the clips back but said its days were numbered.

I did write this up as when I looked at it a few weeks back and said it told him since it was an fpe it should be evaluated for replacement. The covers had long since dissapeared. Now everyone get a new main, yeah!

That stuff looks like it’s gone beyond it’s expiration date.

The funny thing is (very recently) the CPSC closed its files on FPE panels and basically said they did not find a problem.
This is directly from the CPSC memo:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that it is closing its two year investigation into Federal Pacific Electric Stab-lok type residential circuit breakers. This action was taken because the data currently available to the Commission does not establish that the circuit breakers pose a serious risk of injury to consumers.
I always mention a FPE panel and the know hazards and risks associated with these panel; and as Sean noted, have the panel examined by a experienced/Lic. electrician and be prepared to replace the panel.

Oh come on, jump on it!

It’s a great marketing tool.

Referring your vast knowledge toward an electrician really makes you a lot of money and allows you to post in the legal section… !!!

I am just certain that they will return the favor!!!

Not, just kidding!